A cruise is a great way to see the world, have an adventure, and mingle with other people. It’s a dream vacation for many, and one of the best ways to get the most out of your cruise vacation is to be prepared. Packing correctly means never missing a moment and having a wide variety of options for activities both on ship and off.
When you’re putting together your wardrobe for the cruise, the first thing you should do is check into your specific cruise line’s dress code. You should be able to find the dress code in travel documents or on their website. The dress code will tell you what kind of wear is required for various parts of the ship and events on the ship. Following the ship’s dress code and cruise etiquette is vital to enjoying your time on the ship. You can also check into the places where your ship will dock and determine the best kinds of outfits work for the weather and culture.
Oftentimes layers will be your best friend. Not only will they make going from areas like the pool to dining room easier, light layers help you keep up with different conditions at different docks or going from ship to dock.
Keep in mind the kinds of shoes you might need as well. A variety of shoes, from flip-flops to tennis shoes and evening wear shoes can help. You can make room in your suitcase by packing socks, jewelry, or anything else small into your shoes.
It’s easy to remember to pack things like toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. There are other items to keep in mind when packing toiletries, such as sunblock, any prescription medications you need, antibacterial hand sanitizer, and lotion. If you’re a light sleeper, you might consider a sleep mask or earplugs.
Not all cruise lines provide grooming appliances, and if they do, there’s no guarantee that their low-power blow dryer will do the job your blow dryer at home does. The best bet is to bring along your own grooming tools, like flat irons, blow dryers, men’s electric shavers, etc. One thing you definitely should not bring? An iron. They’re banned on most ships in the name of fire safety. Pack some of those anti-wrinkle sprays instead.
You might also want to look into a first aid kit. While the ship will have medical services, a first aid kit can help you stay on top of any smaller injuries or illnesses, such as cuts or seasickness. You can purchase one or piece together a custom first aid kit.
Now that you have your clothing and grooming settled, here are the other odds and ends you’ll definitely want to bring:
- Documentation. Make sure to pack any identifying documents, like passports, ID, or anything else you might need. Also consider bringing insurance documents, any documentation of a chronic illness or medical treatment you require. Also print out all those travel documents you’ll need, including your tickets, flight information, or boarding passes.
- Chargers. It’d be a real bummer if your cell phone died on day one.
- Something to do during downtime, like a book. You probably don’t want to weigh down the packing process by bringing a ton of books, so choose carefully.
- Sunglasses. It can get bright on the ocean, and depending on the places you visit at ports, might be appropriate for the climate.
- Camera. If your photography game is a step above cell phone photography, bring your camera! For cruises with activities planned around water, like snorkeling, you might want to bring a waterproof camera.
- Binoculars. This is especially important if you’re doing a wildlife cruise. After all, you want to get the best view of the main attraction that you possibly can.
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